Joar Leifseth UlsomHometown: Mo i Rana, NORWAY
Joar Leifseth Ulsom (32) is from Mo I Rana in Norway by the Arctic Circle. In 2011 Joar traveled with his dogs from Norway to Alaska where they reside in Willow. He works full-time with his small kennel of dogs while heading up Team Racing Beringia for the non-profit GoNorth! Adventure Learning. Racing Beringia is an online education program exploring the region of Beringia spanning from the Yukon in Canada, across Alaska to Chukotka, Russia (RacingBeringia.com).
The 2018 Iditarod Champion, Joar has started Iditarod six times so far—and he has finished in top-7 in all six starts. He is the only musher to have ever done that. Joar has raced with his dogs throughout Beringia starting with the Yukon Quest in 2012. The same year, Joar became the first non-native winner of Nadezhda Hope race in Chukotka (Russia)—the “toughest race in Eurasia.” Joar is now a 2-time Nadezhda Hope champion, with a second victory in 2014 and holds the fastest race record. Joar and his team also placed 1st in 2012 Chukotka Sprint Championship.
Back in Norway Joar started out as a kid by borrowing his neighbors two house dogs to pull him around on skis. Watching Iditarod movies is what fueled his dreams growing up. In 2007 Joar started mushing and building up his own team. He received a degree from an agricultural college in Norway and worked as a cowboy while he ran the great races of Scandinavia before coming to Alaska. With this seventh Iditarod, the run for Racing Beringia continues in 2019.
Joar is a member of Rana Trekk-og Brukshundklubb. He enjoys hunting, fishing, camping and “the North.”
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